“I do not regret anything. If you start regretting what you have done, the guilt will hold your throat until your death. There are wonderful people around me. I know why I am here. I have weapons. This is probably the most interesting period of my life.”
Leading Ukrainian photographer Andrii Kotliarchuk photographed the men, and women, of Ukraine’s ‘St Mary’ battalion on the front line during the defence of Mariupol in December 2014.
These black and white images, shot on a Rolleiflex camera, capture the faces of ordinary people who in the hour of need have taken up arms voluntarily to defend their homeland, and their freedom. Modern day heroes, fighting in a war that we hoped Europe would never see the likes of again.
Kotliarchuk, who studied at Kyiv Shevchenko University and State Academy of the Cultural Management Resources Art Criticism department, has held more than forty photographic exhibitions in Ukraine and abroad.
EU today is proud to showcase Kotliarchuk’s inspirational work, and in doing so to pay tribute to the volunteers who are prepared to give so much in a noble cause.
“When I was a child my grandpa told me a lot of stories about the war. But I never thought I’d have to fight. Moreover against Russians…” - Kyrylo Heinz, killed February 10th 2015 in the battle for Pavlopil.